At the moment, we plan to return to St. Joseph High School in early October for St. Andrew Parish Sunday Mass. We would begin by having only one Mass on the weekend, at 11:00 am Sunday morning.

             For this to be possible and allow our community to gather in prayer, to celebrate First Communions and prepare for Confirmation, two things must happen.

First, we need to re-build our ‘set-up’, ‘take-down’ and liturgical ministry teams. Many of the people who were dedicated to these for many years are either unable to continue or need to be on the schedule less often. The ‘set-up’ involves being at the gym by 9:30 am to put out the chairs, bring out the Altar, Pulpit, projector, sound system and other equipment. Once everything is running smoothly, the ‘take-down’ process (storing the chairs and putting away all our equipment) would take less than half an hour. Some of those preparing for Confirmation will be able to sign up to assist with the set-up and take-down under their parents’ supervision.

The Liturgical Ministries include Sacristans, Readers / Commentators, Ministers of   Communion, Choirs, Children’s Liturgy and principal Ushers. The roles of Servers, Greeters/ Offertory collectors will again typically be for those preparing for Confirmation.

Parents of those preparing for First Communion and Confirmation should expect that they will need to be involved in this.

Second, we will need to raise more money to meet our operating expenses. Thanks to minimal spending, the generosity of core supporters and the kindness of St. Monica Parish, we have been able to pay our bills. Once we begin celebrating Mass in the “Holy Gym’ we also will have to pay rent to the school board and other expenses we have been able to defer.

Since 2014, typically about 200 children prepared each year for First Communion or Confirmation. In the past, we were never particularly concerned whether their families were contributing members.  Even so, the parish has routinely subsidised the school religion program.

Considering our situation and the large number of people this requires us to accommodate and the staffing this demands, the Finance Council will be reminding parents that not one dime of their school tax dollar is ever used to support the parish, and by provincial law, it never will be. People facing difficulties will not be turned away, but the Council will remind those in ‘normal’ circumstances of the need to make a financial commitment to the well-being and continued operation of the parish.

Finally, I am looking forward to being able to celebrate the Eucharist with all of you again as we seek the way forward for our parish.

Fr. Frank Brewer